Court Denies an Adverse Interference Absent Materiality (New York)

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Cognex Corporation v. Microscan Systems, Inc., 2013 WL 6906221 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 31, 2013).

in this patent infringement suit, the defendants moved for sanctions for spoliation of a disk that was essentially destroyed during transit between the plaintiffs’ expert and the plaintiffs. While the court found the plaintiffs’ failure to make a copy of the CD was a sufficiently culpable act warranting sanctions, it reasoned that material damage to the defendants must be shown to trigger an adverse interference instruction. Because the defendants failed to show how the information was lost on the CD—software relating to the device at issue—was material, the adverse interference was denied. However, the court granted monetary sanctions for spoliation finding that the plaintiffs nonetheless acted culpably under a duty to preserve.

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